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Boston Public Schools receives over $2 million in funding to improve student outcomes

Teacher Sandy Lopez (center) taught students in a third-grade bilingual class at the Rafael Hernández Dual Language K-8 School in Roxbury on Wednesday.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

In an effort to improve student outcomes and place more students in high-quality schools across the city, nonprofit Boston Schools Fund will give Boston Public Schools more than $2.3 million in grants.

The new funding, known as Partnering with Educators to Accelerate Knowledge grants, was announced Monday morning at the Rafael Hernández Dual Language K-8 School in Roxbury. The grants will be given to up to 12 schools in Boston throughout the next three years starting this school year, targeting support in instruction and professional learning.

“We’ve been following the research and data closely for years, and we know what is at stake,” Will Austin, chief executive of the Boston Schools Fund, said in a statement prior to Monday’s announcement. “When schools utilize high-quality instructional materials — and educators are supported and trusted — student academic outcomes improve.”

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Boston Schools Fund has provided $20 million in grant funding to 50 schools and 20,000 children across Boston since 2015. The funding for the PEAK grants is aimed at improving the quality of schools for Black and Latino students, English learners, and students with disabilities.

Schools receiving the grants are expected to focus on improving student outcomes and increase use of high-quality instructional materials.

The first cohort of schools to receive PEAK grants this school year includes Adams Elementary School in East Boston, the Conservatory Lab Charter School in Dorchester, the Sumner Elementary School in Roslindale, and the Rafael Hernández.

Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper (left) and Boston Schools Fund CEO Will Austin listened to principal Carolina Brito at the Rafael Hernández Dual Language K-8 School.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

The first round of money will reach 1,586 students. Schools will receive a combined $420,000 in funding during the school year, and technical assistance and coaching from experts, according to a statement. The schools will also focus on improving student outcomes determined by success in school-specific goals and metrics like state testing results and enrollment.

Boston Schools Fund expects to grow the grant program to two more cohorts of three or four schools in this school year and in 2023-24. Working with the school district, Boston Schools Fund will help monitor the progress of school and student outcomes.

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“Like I always say, it takes a village to build up Boston Public Schools and I want to thank the Boston Schools Fund for understanding the importance of community and philanthropic involvement,” Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper said in a statement prior to the announcement. “It will take all of us to make BPS a better place for our students and I am proud to see the sheer amount of support we have here in Boston.”

The grant for the Rafael Hernández will focus on bi-literacy curriculum for students in kindergarten through second grade. The grant was also done in partnership with The Canizales Group, which supports educational institutions committed to antiracism and supporting bilingual students and students of color.

Funding for the PEAK grants is also being provided by Thomas H. Lee Partners, Plymouth Rock Assurance, the Someone Else’s Child Foundation, and the Mabel Louise Riley Foundation.

“Community support is crucial to the success of our students,” Jeri Robinson, Boston School Committee chairwoman, said in a statement prior to Monday’s event. “Partners like BSF help us to make an indelible mark on our community and have such a positive impact on the lives of children.”


Adria Watson can be reached at adria.watson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @adriarwatson.